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Missing hedge fund manager's girlfriend arrested

  • Story Highlights
  • Authorities say Debra Ryan helped Sam Israel III pack RV before disappearance
  • Complaint says Ryan, 45, followed as Israel drove RV to upstate New York
  • Israel never reported to prison to begin 20-year sentence for defrauding investors
  • His car was found last week with "suicide is painless" scrawled in dust on hood
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From Laura Dolan
CNN
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NEW YORK (CNN) -- Federal marshals arrested the girlfriend of a hedge fund manager who disappeared on the day he was to start a 20-year prison sentence for defrauding investors, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

Debra Ryan, girlfriend of Sam Israel III, leaves court on Thursday. She faces up to 10 years in prison.

Authorities say Debra Ryan, 45, admitted to helping Sam Israel III pack an RV with his belongings and a motor scooter prior to his June 9 disappearance.

Ryan, who lived with Israel in Armonk, New York, is charged with aiding and abetting Israel in his failure to report to a Massachusetts prison.

Ryan was released on $75,000 bond. She faces up to 10 years in prison.

The search for Israel, 48, began when he failed to report to prison to serve a sentence for defrauding hedge fund Bayou Management investors out of some $450 million.

His burgundy 2006 GMC Envoy was found last week on Bear Mountain Bridge in upstate New York with the words "suicide is painless" written in dust on the hood.

Police searched the river for a body, but the U.S. Attorney's office has since described Israel's disappearance as a fugitive search rather than a suicide investigation.

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"We're continuing to work with federal marshals and the U.S. attorney's office in an effort to locate Sam Israel," FBI spokesman Jim Margolin said.

A federal court complaint alleges that on June 9, Ryan followed Israel in her car as he drove the RV to a highway rest stop in upstate New York. After Israel parked the RV, Ryan drove Israel back to their home, according to the complaint.

Federal officials would not say who drove Israel's car to the bridge, nor would they confirm who they believe later drove Israel from the bridge to his RV.

The U.S. Marshals Service said it is searching for a white 2007 Coach Freelander RV and a blue 2005 Yamaha scooter that Israel may be using.

The U.S. Marshals say Israel goes by the aliases Sam Ryan and David Clapp.

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